Category Archives: Missiles & Guided Weapons

Ukrainian Missile

The tests of Ukrainian missiles proved that Ukraine is capable of defending its borders in the Black and Azov Seas. This was stated by Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov upon completion of the tests at the military proving ground in the Odesa region.

Following last week’s incidents in the Sea of Azov, the Ukrainian government has carried out a number of missile trials, including this Neptun anti-ship missile, to demonstrate its ability to defend its naval borders (UKR MoD photo)
Following last week’s incidents in the Sea of Azov, the Ukrainian government has carried out a number of missile trials, including this Neptun anti-ship missile, to demonstrate its ability to defend its naval borders (UKR MoD photo)

According to him, significant results were achieved during the tests, in particular, a successful flight test of Ukrainian cruise missiles was carried out, and the coast defense system was worked out with the help of the modernized S-125 missile system.

«The task put today before cruise missiles was to check the range and accuracy of hitting surface targets», – the NSDC Secretary said adding that the target was destroyed at a distance of 280 kilometers.

Mr. Turchynov reported that aviation was involved in checking the results of hitting long-range targets and that a special point on the Snake Island was equipped.

In addition, Mr. Turchynov said that to strengthen coastal defense, the accuracy and reliability of hitting the conditional opponent’s watercraft by the S-125 missile systems, which had undergone a deep modernization at the enterprises of the Ukrainian defense industry, were checked.

«According to the results of the watercraft firing, the upgraded S-125 proved to be effective. There were 8 launches during which 8 surface targets were destroyed. This is a very good result, which proves that these modernized systems are capable of providing reliable protection against aggression both from the air and from the sea, and will significantly enhance the coast defense of the Black Sea and Azov coast», – Mr. Turchynov noticed.

After the tests were completed, the NSDC Secretary held a meeting with the leading developers of missile equipment and the military leadership to determine the priority areas for strengthening defense of the Black Sea-Azov region. The meeting took place in a new command-and-staff mobile special telecommunication complex, which was involved in coordinating missile firing.

Brazilian Missile

According to Defense-aerospace.com, the Brazilian Navy on Tuesday (November 27) launched the first prototype of the National Anti-Ship Missile (Míssil Antinavio Nacional de Superfície, or MANSUP), 300 km/186 miles off the coast of Rio de Janeiro.

The Brazilian Navy corvette Barroso carried out the first development test firing of the MANSUP anti-ship missile, developed by its national industry, on November 27. It is broadly similar to the Exocet Block 2s presently in service (AVIBRAS photo)
The Brazilian Navy corvette Barroso carried out the first development test firing of the MANSUP anti-ship missile, developed by its national industry, on November 27. It is broadly similar to the Exocet Block 2s presently in service (AVIBRAS photo)

The test confirmed the correct functioning of several subsystems, and the need for improvement in some others. Data of its in-flight behavior were recorded by telemetry, also developed in Brazil and, after it is analyzed, will guide the next development steps and launches.

The MANSUP is 5.6 meters/18.4 feet long, weighs about a tonne/2,205 lbs. and accelerates to a speed of 540 knots/621 mph/1,000 km/h in less than seven seconds.

This Strategic Project was started 10 years ago in partnership with several national contractors: AVIBRAS, responsible for the propulsion; SIATT, which develops the guidance system, control and telemetry; OMNISYS, which designs the target detection radar; and the EZUTE Foundation, which assists in coordinating the necessary work.

The data obtained with this launch will allow to continue the evolution of this project developed with exclusively national technology, and which place our country in the select group of manufacturers of missiles of this size.

First Firing

MBDA’s Marte ER anti-ship missile has completed its first firing, successfully passing a major phase in its development.

The Marte ER missile flew for more than 100 km/62 miles/54 NM on a planned trajectory
The Marte ER missile flew for more than 100 km/62 miles/54 NM on a planned trajectory

The firing trial was carried out on 9 November in an Italian test range. The Marte ER missile flew for more than 100 km/62 miles/54 NM on a planned trajectory that included several waypoints and sea skimming flight, successfully testing all flying phases.

Pasquale Di Bartolomeo, Executive Group Director Sales & Business Development and Managing Director MBDA Italia, commented: «This test is a further confirmation of the robustness of the ER version of the Marte family of multi-platform anti-ship missiles that can be launched by ships, helicopters, coastal batteries and fast jets. The Marte family has a strong and successful history both at domestic and international levels: most recently with Marte ER being ordered earlier in 2018 by the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) for their new NH90 helicopters. Marte is a single product family that can cover several missions, offering our customers a high level of operational flexibility in the area of maritime superiority, a domain where MBDA in Italy has been able throughout its long history not only to maintain but also to grow as well as further develop competencies and know-how».

The Marte ER programme is progressing at full speed in order to meet customers’ requirements. Having completed the 18 months System Definition Phase, the full integration of Marte ER on the Eurofighter Typhoon platform is proceeding at pace in order to implement an anti-ship capability onto the fighter.

Full Rate Production

The U.S. Navy has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation a $171 million contract for Lot 7 Full Rate Production (FRP) of the AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM). The contract will deliver advanced capability to U.S. warfighters as well as the Italian Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force to counter the accelerating proliferation of surface-to-air threats.

Northrop Grumman’s Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile impacting a target
Northrop Grumman’s Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile impacting a target

«The rapid proliferation of today’s threats require the most advanced solution to detect and defeat surface-to-air-threats and protect our nation and allies», said Cary Ralston, vice president and general manager, defense electronic systems, Northrop Grumman. «AARGM is an affordable, game-changing solution and we are proud to provide this capability to the warfighter».

AARGM is a supersonic, air-launched tactical missile system, upgrading legacy AGM-88 HARM systems with capability to perform destruction of enemy air defense missions. AARGM is the most advanced system for pilots, with in-cockpit, real-time electronic order of battle situational awareness against today’s modern surface-to-air threats. It is able to rapidly engage traditional and non-traditional advanced land- and sea-based air-defense threats, as well as striking, time-sensitive targets.

AARGM is a U.S. Navy and Italian Air Force international cooperative major acquisition program with the U.S. Navy as the executive agent. AARGM is currently deployed and supporting operational requirements for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps. The missile is integrated into the weapons systems on the FA-18C/D Hornet, FA-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft. The Italian Air Force (ItAF) recently completed operational testing of AARGM on their Tornado Electronic Combat and Reconnaissance (ECR) aircraft. A series of flight tests culminated with direct hits on critical air defense threat targets, confirming the operational effectiveness and suitability of AARGM on the Italian Air Force Tornado and allowing the Italian Air Force to transition AARGM into operational squadrons.

Initial Production

Lockheed Martin’s Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM) system has successfully passed its Defense Acquisition Board review and achieved milestone C. The signed Acquisition Decision Memorandum approves the JAGM system to enter into Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP).

Lockheed Martin's Joint Air-to-Ground Missile Achieves Milestone C Decision, Enabling Low-Rate Initial Production
Lockheed Martin’s Joint Air-to-Ground Missile Achieves Milestone C Decision, Enabling Low-Rate Initial Production

JAGM is a multi-sensor air-to-ground missile that is the successor to the combat proven HELLFIRE Romeo and HELLFIRE Longbow missiles. Backward compatible with all rotary wing and fixed wing platforms that fire the HELLFIRE family of missiles, JAGM employs a multi-mode guidance section that offers enhanced performance on the battlefield. The multimode seeker combines improved Semi-Active Laser and millimeter wave radar sensors providing precision strike and fire-and-forget capability against stationary and moving land and maritime targets in adverse weather and obscured battlefield conditions.

JAGM flight tests, including ten Limited User Test flights, were completed across the performance envelope and target requirements over a period of months leading up to the successful milestone C decision. The test results demonstrated the system’s combat effectiveness and technical maturity. Additionally, the program successfully conducted supplier and prime contractor production readiness reviews establishing the program’s readiness to move into LRIP.

The U.S. Army and U.S. Navy awarded Lockheed Martin a 24-month contract for the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase of the JAGM program which included JAGM production, test qualification and integration on the AH-64E Apache and AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters. The EMD phase also established an initial low-rate manufacturing capability in support of three follow-on LRIP options, with U.S. Army Initial Operational Capability expected early 2019.

The JAGM system hardware that demonstrated over 95 percent reliability in flight testing is built on the active HELLFIRE missile family production line by the same team that has produced over 75,000 missiles with a fielded reliability exceeding 97 percent.

CAMM interceptor

MBDA’s Land Ceptor air defence system has successfully destroyed its target during an end-to-end system demonstration firing at the Vidsel Test Range in Sweden, an important milestone for the project prior to entry to service with the British Army.

Land Ceptor on target in latest success for MBDA’s CAMM interceptor
Land Ceptor on target in latest success for MBDA’s CAMM interceptor

Land Ceptor utilises the proven Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM) currently in production and delivering a common stockpile to meet the air defence needs of both the British Army and the Royal Navy (as Sea Ceptor). In British Army service Land Ceptor will replace the current Rapier air defence system and provides a step-change in capability, including over triple the range and the ability to intercept a much more challenging target set.

The system demonstration trial showcased the maturity of the Land Ceptor system across a full engagement sequence. This included launcher deployment; munition loading; receipt of air tracks from a Giraffe-AMB radar; air track processing by Land Ceptor’s onboard Command and Control (C2) system; and execution of a full engagement chain, with two-way data exchange with the missile during its mid-course fly-out phase, and successful interception and destruction of a target using the missile’s seeker in the terminal phase.

Land Ceptor with CAMM is the latest generation of air defence system, providing exceptional capability from very short ranges (VSHORAD) below 1 km/3,281 feet into the Medium Range Air Defence (MRAD) tier beyond 25 km/15.5 miles. Key features of CAMM are its next generation solid-state active radar seeker, two-way data-link, low-signature rocket motor and its 360° soft-vertical launch system. These combine to enable the missile to rapidly intercept the most challenging and dangerous of threats including saturation attacks from precision guided munitions and manoeuvring high-speed missiles emerging late from low altitude and from multiple directions simultaneously.

The demonstration in Vidsel coincides with the transition into production of the Land Ceptor weapon system, which will now undergo system-of-system integration and test as part of the British Army’s Sky Sabre air defence architecture. It is the latest in a series of highly successful trials of CAMM and its related systems over several years that have consistently proven its maturity and game changing performance.

 

About CAMM family of missile systems

The Royal Navy has recently conducted a large set of service acceptance trials of its related Sea Ceptor system. Sea Ceptor, which uses the same CAMM interceptor, has been introduced into service to replace the Vertical Launch Seawolf system on the Royal Navy’s Type 23 frigates. The Sea Ceptor system provides a major step-change in capability for the Royal Navy’s frigates, as they will

gain the ability to protect other ships within their local area, in addition to having an excellent self-defense capability. Sea Ceptor will also be fitted to the Royal Navy’s future Type 26 and Type 31e frigates.

Land Ceptor is the UK launch configuration of the Enhanced Modular Air Defence Solutions (EMADS) product family. EMADS brings together best-of-breed systems and technologies from across MBDA’s European base to save time, development costs and provide a flexible system for air defence provision. EMADS has been designed for ease of integration with existing equipment and infrastructure through modular design and use of standard interfaces. CAMM is a family of missiles that includes CAMM-ER (Extended Range) which shares all the same components as CAMM other than a larger rocket motor to extend its range out to beyond 40 km/25 miles.

3-cell ExLS Launcher

MBDA and Lockheed Martin have jointly completed qualification of MBDA’s Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM) from Lockheed Martin’s Extensible Launching System (ExLS) 3-Cell Stand Alone Launcher following a series of trials.

When operated from ExLS or MK 41 VLSD, CAMM comes in a quad-pack arrangement which allows to store and fire 4 missiles from a single cell
When operated from ExLS or MK 41 VLSD, CAMM comes in a quad-pack arrangement which allows to store and fire 4 missiles from a single cell

ExLS is a low-cost alternative for integrating new missiles and munitions into naval surface combatants leveraging Lockheed Martin’s proven Mk 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) design and electronics.

The compact vertical launch 3-cell ExLS system is specifically designed for smaller naval platforms that are unable to accommodate the larger 8-cell MK 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS). ExLS has also been designed to fit inside the MK 41 launcher (i.e. ExLS Host), offering flexible, adaptable installation solutions for larger ships to achieve high combat mass within a small on-board footprint.

MBDA’s CAMM is a highly compact missile that enables multiple weapons to be fitted in limited spaces. It is the most modern air defence missile of its class on the market and has recently completed a highly successful series of firings by the Royal Navy. When operated from ExLS or MK 41 VLSD, CAMM comes in a quad-pack arrangement which allows to store and fire 4 missiles from a single cell. These latest trials from 3-cell ExLS were successfully completed in the United Kingdom at the end of 2017.

«The success of these trials is testament to the hard work and close co-operation of the MBDA and Lockheed Martin», said Joe DePietro, Lockheed Martin vice president of small combatants and ship systems. «A launcher within a launcher, ExLS uses CAMM canistered munitions with its qualified launch electronics to cut integration costs by more than 50 percent. It is a mature design that when paired with CAMM offers a low-cost alternative for integrating new missiles and munitions into current and future surface combatants».

Paul Mead, Head of Business Development at MBDA, said: «These trials have further demonstrated the maturity, reliability and safety of the CAMM vertical launch system from both 3-cell ExLS and ExLS Host/MK 41 and follows the highly successful operational trials of CAMM by the Royal Navy in 2017. The pairing of CAMM with the 3-cell ExLS launcher is a natural choice, providing a flexible launcher solution available now for naval platforms to take advantage of the high-performance air defence capabilities and compact size of CAMM with ExLS. Other MBDA weapon systems, compatible with ExLS, are planned for the future».

Production-configuration

Lockheed Martin successfully tested a production-configuration Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) from a U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bomber.

Lockheed Martin successfully tested a production-configuration Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) from a U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bomber. LRASM is a precision-guided, anti-ship standoff missile based on the successful Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile – Extended Range
Lockheed Martin successfully tested a production-configuration Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) from a U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer bomber. LRASM is a precision-guided, anti-ship standoff missile based on the successful Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile – Extended Range

During the test, a B-1B Lancer from the 337th Test Squadron at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, launched a LRASM over the Sea Range at Point Mugu, California, successfully impacting the maritime target and meeting test objectives.

«LRASM has now proven itself in six consecutive flight missions», said David Helsel, LRASM program director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. «The reliability and outstanding capability of LRASM will provide an unmatched weapon to our warfighters in their quest for sea control in contested environments».

LRASM is designed to detect and destroy specific targets within groups of ships by employing advanced technologies that reduce dependence on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms, network links and GPS navigation in electronic warfare environments. LRASM will play a significant role in ensuring military access to operate in open ocean/blue waters, owing to its enhanced ability to discriminate and conduct tactical engagements from extended ranges.

LRASM is a precision-guided, anti-ship standoff missile based on the successful Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile – Extended Range (JASSM-ER). It is designed to meet the needs of U.S. Navy and Air Force warfighters in contested environments. The air-launched variant provides an early operational capability for the U.S. Navy’s offensive anti-surface warfare Increment I requirement to be integrated onboard the U.S. Air Force’s B-1B Lancer in 2018 and on the U.S. Navy’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet in 2019.